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Murder on the Screen

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Murder on the Screen

Published 1958

Tracking down those responsible for damaging motion picture film.

Run time 21:21
Producer Eastman Kodak Co.
Sponsor N/A
Audio/Visual Sd, C


A humorous story about a "detective's" efforts to track down the guilty person who committed a "murder." The victim is a new film that had been sent to a TV station for showing. The questioning of those who handled the film brings out proper film care and misuse. The crime is not solved, for everyone claims innocence; but the suspects are warned to be careful for they will be watched.

Crime Police Motion pictures Archival conservation Film care Spoofs Danger Lurks


Reviewer: ERD - favoritefavoritefavorite - January 25, 2006
Subject: Now dated
Informative for its time but now dated. Made for professionals who handled film. A little too long.
Reviewer: GE_Pretzel - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 24, 2006
Subject: Helpful for film archivists and preservationists
Taking the form of a comedic detective story, Murder on the Screen features a hard-headed sleuth investigating the alarming discovery of a horribly mangled and sullied reel of film (referred to solely with feminine pronouns for added humour). Four individuals who were previously involved with the film's handling undergo intense interrogation, highlighting dozens of essential film care procedures while they recall exactly how they dealt with the reel before she met her sudden, mysterious demise. There are several good shots of the various period instruments used to maintain the film, making the production of interest to archivists working with this medium. Extremely informative, though not particularly helpful to the film projectionists of the digital age.
Reviewer: trafalgar - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 26, 2004
Subject: Teaching by repetition
Thanks to the repetitive nature of this movie, I now know the formula for film lubricant by heart. Still it's entertaining in that Calvin way, and quite informative.
Reviewer: uniQ - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 19, 2004
Subject: Jack Webb's out on his luck, so...
He turns his incomprable acting to teaching ppl how to care for film. The 'interrogation' method of teaching is interesting when applied to unknown 3rd persons.

Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavorite - November 17, 2003
Subject: "I Did'nt Do It!"
A somewhat amusing film about what causes film damage. It's funny, as from frame one I knew that we were in Calvin film territory. I even recognized some of their actors in this film. Anyways, it uses the theme of a detective trying to figure out who 'murdered' a reel of footage, because their scratches and what not on it. He 'interrogates' people who have handled the film, like the film lab technician, the distributor, all the way to the projectionist. While it's interesting to find out about these positions, it just makes the film too darn long.
Reviewer: Steve Nordby - favoritefavoritefavorite - October 30, 2003
Subject: She is clean and lubricated
This seems to be a training film for operators at TV stations in which a Jack Webb style detective investigates a mangled reel of 16mm film returned to a distributor from a TV station. The suspects enlighten us to the proper care and handling of film while they proclaim their innocence. It's an entertaining parody but a bit tedious... how many times do they need to talk about cleaning the gate? Probably was originally in color but this print is so discolored it's hard to tell. Sponsored by Kodak.
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